The Night Before Christmas
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The Night Before Christmas

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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  56,885 ratings  ·  897 reviews
Who's that peeking out of the sleigh?

As St. Nick and eight tiny reindeer descend through a brilliant night sky onto the roof of a Victorian house in a snowy New England village, the famous Christmas poem begins. The father of the family narrates the words just as Clement Moore wrote them, and artist Jan Brett captures the spirit in brilliant illustrations that reflect thi...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 28th 1998 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1823)
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
3rd out of 619 books — 800 voters
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Best Children's Books
63rd out of 3,046 books — 4,443 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
i'm not sure if this is the correct edition to review. the one i have is also illustrated by arthur rackham ♥, but it has this cover:

 photo DSC03403_zpsc67b38e8.jpg


which is much better than the one shown above.

i'm not sure how to review this, because it's just the night before christmas, but since i feel compelled to review all the books i read ever, i am just putting it out there that this is a wonderful christmas present to receive, and reading it on christmas eve with a giant mug of cocoa is a pretty nice way to spend a...more
K.D. Absolutely
At what age did you stop believing in Santa Claus? Last Christmas, I still had to buy something for my daughter and wrote “From: Santa Claus” on the gift tag because she still believed in him. She was 16.

This morning while I was about to drop her at the gate of her school, she again borrowed the rosary hanging on the rearview mirror of my car. The rosary was a gift from my friend who attended the World Youth’s Day in Brazil this year so I am proud of it and taking care of it. The beads are made...more
Kathie Meyer
Jun 14, 2008 Kathie Meyer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All ages
Shelves: winter-reading
This is a very biased review since I know the illustrator personally and was a model for one of the elves that appear in the book. My very special kitty, Larry, is pictured in the Christmas stocking at the end too. In fact, Watson used all real people to model for Santa, the elves and the family in the story, and he set the book in Port Townsend, Wash. where he lives. The clocktower is our actual courthouse in town.

Having said all of that...I think this is one of the most wonderfully illustrated...more
Arlene
'Twas the Night before Christmas' is a beautiful holiday poem that was written by Dr. Clement C. Moore for his children as a Christmas present. It was reprinted many times over and wasn't what Moore thought would make him famous... but it did. It's been translated in many languages and continues to be recited to children all over the world.

Much to my chagrin, this is the first time I've read/heard this poem in its entirety, but I'll be sure to read it every holiday season moving forward. Beauti...more
Ryun
Descriptions of human sacrifice and the power of blood magic are commonplace throughout history, but one — Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS — takes place on the eve of a holiday that most consider a time of joy, happiness and generosity. This makes a poem that would be unsettling in any circumstances an intense, dark and enduring tale of supernatural horror.

Set on the eve of the eponymous Christian feast day, the book begins innocently enough, with a desperately poor fami...more
Alan
How many decades ago did I memorize this poem, "Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash...." Does any kid now hearing this know what a "sash" is, not to mention a chimney etc. "As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly...": now as we await the wet leaves--and yacht boating boots--of the Republicans at their national convention hall in Tampa, a full foot above sea level at least: has anyone ever seen DRY leaves flying before a hurricane?
Sounds like someone from NY who has never seen a...more
Alexandra
This new 2013 edition is illustrated with talented Christine Brallier’s absolutely stunning stained glass mosaics. The accomplished artwork gives the familiar Christmas poem a warm and antique look. I know nothing about making stained glass mosaics, so was delightfully surprised to discover that this medium can portray movement so convincingly (unlike the frozen-stiff figures so often seen on church windows.) The pages are full of details that invite the reader to linger, such as the patterns on...more
Margaret
This is amazing. When I saw this one the list of recommended reads for the Memoria Press Third Grade, I thought surely it is not necessary as I already have two other versions by other illustrations, more whimsical than this black and white. But then when I got it out at the library, boy did I discover a treasure. I will have to look for this one to buy. The first page has a little historical note about the original presentation of the Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas, now known to us as The...more
midnightfaerie
Beautiful rendition of this classic poem. The black and white illustrations give it a wonderful old-fashioned feel that will have you reminiscing of years past. A great book to start a yearly reading tradition with as we do. It's the story my husband reads to the kids every year on Christmas Eve. A cherished memory I hope that will stay with them when they have their own children.
John Yelverton
This story is the original Santa Claus story, and you can see why the character is around to this day.
Tasha
Following the classic Christmas tale, this version of the story is made special by the illustrations. Brallier has created fifteen stained glass illustrations for the book. They range from holiday mantles to close ups of the reindeer and of course Santa Claus. Santa does not wear a red hat here but instead has the robes of an English Santa Claus. It makes the feel all the more timeless and special.

Throughout, Brallier has small touches that are worth finding. I was entranced by her use of small...more
Prashant
This is a beautiful Christmas poem written by Clement Clarke Moore. I heard this on an audio book from gutenberg project and then also read the text from an e-book. The audiobook was in a sweet voice of a kid stopping and stumbling over some of the complex words.

Brought up in a Hindu house and an environment where many religions live and thrive together, for me Christmas has always been when some people in my neighborhood sang songs in the night and then around midnight a fat guy dressed in all...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I had never read this before, I'm pretty sure - we certainly never had a copy in our house nor any pre-Christmas tradition of reading it, nothing like that. Probably my primary school had an old copy but I don't think I was too interested. So this was a new reading experience for me, one I approached without any memories or sense of nostalgia to guide me. I got it because it's such a classic, and I believe it's the origin of Santa's sleigh and reindeer (which are named), though don't quote me on...more
Kathryn
Darn it, I don't know how to post for different editions as this keeps coming up the same despite different illustrators. Here, then, are the three versions I've enjoyed this season with links so you can see them on Amazon.


ILLUSTRATED BY GYO FUJIKAWA
Fujikawa's illustrations are so adorable and delightful and child-like, in a way. I thoroughly enjoyed his vision into this holiday classic, though I would have liked more page breaks and more frequent illustrations to help the flow with the poem bet...more
Claire
My addition doesn't seem to be the same as this book seems to be listed. However, goodreads.com says it is and won't let me add an addition. Oh well. I have had my copy of this famous poem since I was very young. For me, this book brings back several memories and I still imagine Santa as looking like the illustration from this book.
As a child, all I saw was the illustration and since it is great, it was easy to remember. As an adult, I can appreciate the two page addition, written by Paul Harve...more
Candace W.
Oct 05, 2012 Candace W. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: kid-lit-class
This book tells the classic story of The Night Before Christmas, but with special cut outs and a beautiful pop-up finale. I really liked this book, because it tells a story that children know and love with a beautiful addition to it. The illustrations are done in mostly black and white, and are very beautiful. Beyond that, the cut out sections in them allow one illustration to illustrate two sections of the story just by turning the page. Last but not least, the pop-up finale is very intricate a...more
Jennifer Bracken
Engineered Books

This classic version of the story of the night before Christmas is turned into a pop-up book. I read this with my children each year on Christmas Eve and they love working the different pop-up elements. This book tells the story of the family going to bed and hearing St. Nicholas landing in the yard and coming into the house to deliver the presents.

This book could be read to your students on the last day of school before Christmas break. You just have to make sure that every stu...more
Pamela Mccoll
After smoking away for 189 years Santa gives up the pipe and is no longer depicted as having a wreath of smoke around his head - all a good thing in the era when we are doing so much to try and get our kids or grandkids not to start smoking. Twas The Night Before Christmas was written by Clement C. Moore in 1822 on a sleigh ride home from Greenwich Village with his nine children on Christmas Eve. It has gone on to become the most famous poem in the English language. That is now is offered in a s...more
Chris Mills
“Perfect for children of all ages” it reads on the back cover, and even though I have heard it read hundreds of times, this old classic never fails to raise my Christmas spirit. This timeless poem about Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve has been illustrated by many different artists since it was first published almost 190 years ago. The ‘aa-bb’ rhyming sequence is what makes the flow of the story and pace so exciting. I think this book would be a nice one to read to a key stage one class, althoug...more
Britt☮
Dec 12, 2009 Britt☮ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates art
I scoffed when I first heard that pop-up book artist Robert Sabuda calls himself a "paper engineer" — until I opened this book. Sabuda takes pop-up art to a whole new level. The breathtaking detail, intricacy and creativity, as well as the excellent use of contrast and space (the pop-ups are mostly white with a few well-chosen accents of color), make the art fly off the page! That, combined with Moore's classic story, make this book a work of art.

Seriously, this book should be in a museum. It's...more
Leonie
I bought this book for my 8 month old daughter's first Christmas. It was a gift from Mummy rather than Santa as that enabled me to write an inscription in it that she can enjoy each year as we read it in the run up to Christmas.

The poem doesn't date even though it describes a Victorian Christmas Eve as most of the traditions and all of the essence of Christmas remains the same through the ages.

Merry Christmas to all...
Melissa
This is actually the first time I've read this book. Pathetic I know! We always just watched the cartoon with the little family of mice on tv. But this book is very good and I'm glad I took the time to read it this year! The perfect illustrations are added with each page of the story. A combination of whimsical animals and Santa with his sleigh and reindeer will greet young and old alike throughout Twas the Night Before Christmas. This will definitely became a book that is read every Christmas E...more
Sara
Like most people I know, this poem is part of their Christmas vernacular. In my childhood home, my father would read it every Christmas eve. I wanted to continue that tradition with my kids but I wanted a version that had truly beautiful illustration. Gennady Spirin's deft hand more than delivers. The artwork is magical and draws us in. This version will be the Christmas Eve tradition of this home!
Melissa
I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. When the book arrived and I opened the package, I was blown away by the illustrations. Every time I look at the pictures on each page I am beyond amazed. It is obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into the design and creation of this book. I cannot wait to read this to my cousins and hopefully as they grow older they will appreciate the artwork.
Tonya Nelson
I grew up listening to this poem on Christmas Eve, so it makes me a little nostalgic. Although, I am not sure that I would incorporate this book into curriculum unless other holidays are a part of the unit as well.

Summary: The poem begins with a description of a silent house and carefully constructs what the house is like the night before Christmas. It uses wonderful similes and descriptive words that help paint a picture in the readers’ minds even with the beautiful, intricately drawn illustrat...more
Kaethe
1/1/2000 I think it most unlikely that Clement Clarke Moore wrote the original poem, although I do understand why he continues to be credited. And I understand why the title used is incorrect, but common. But there's some editing of the text, and that really annoys me. I do think that Brett's pictures are lovely and amusing, and that's why I read the book every year, and then put it away with the other holiday books.

2001 January 1
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Stephanie
May 07, 2014 Stephanie added it
Shelves: poetry
Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas: A Victorian Version of the Christmas Classic is about the quiet-snowy night before Christmas in a New England home. The father of the family narrates the story and guides the reader on a charming journey throughout his night. The children were snuggled away in their beds meanwhile St. Nick and his reindeer delivered presents to all the good boys and girls.

The Night Before Christmas: A Victorian Version of the Christmas Classic is a classic poem...more
Qwendy
First published in 1823, Clement C. Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas” continues to endear legions of young readers. In-print picture books of Moore’s work are plentiful, growing each year as illustrators’ pair their artwork with his classic lines.

Mary Engelbreit’s edition does not disappoint. Her colorful, highly-detailed drawings finely capture to the nuances of the Christmas season. Every available space in the book is filled with illustrations. Mice, cats, and dogs meet Santa’s arriv...more
Qnpoohbear
Apr 13, 2014 Qnpoohbear rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This poem is a perennial favorite in my family. My dad reads it to us every Christmas Eve and now he reads it to my nieces and nephews. We all have at least the beginning memorized. The simple rhyme is easy to memorize. Some of the words are difficult for the very young to understand but I don't remember ever not knowing what the poem was about based on the context. We have an edition from my first Christmas in 1978 illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. I never liked the illustrations and found them...more
Sylwia
Aside from the weird bit with the pipe, I really enjoyed reading this poem. Maybe it’s because so many of the lines are ingrained in American television and culture (whether you’re a Christmas-celebrator or not!), or maybe it’s because the poem actually does have a certain magical Christmassy quality to it.

I found it interesting that the protagonist of the book is not a child, but an adult. I thought that was a really clever bit because if I want to read into it, I feel that a story about Santa...more
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Clement Clarke Moore, (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863), is best known as the credited author of A Visit From St. Nicholas (more commonly known today as Twas the Night Before Christmas).

Clement C. Moore was more famous in his own day as a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia College (now Columbia University) and at General Theological Seminary, who compiled a two volume Hebrew dict...more
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